Create a faster, cleaner béchamel sauce from concept to launch

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Do you struggle to manufacture bechamel sauce quickly without burn-on contamination? Is it difficult to scale up concept dishes like carbonara and lasagna to factory scale production? Many food manufacturers are choosing to cook with Steam Infusion to overcome these issues. Here’s why:

Faster béchamel sauce cooking

On a traditional steam jacket system, if you try to cook faster you will inevitably burn product to the vessel. With Steam Infusion you can cook a 300kg batch of bechamel sauce in just 5 minutes.

Unlike other steam injectors, the Steam Infusion Vaction unit, creates a partial vacuum within the unit dropping the effective temperature of the steam to below 100 degrees thus eliminating exposure to high-temperature steam.

The Vaction unit can inject steam at rates up to 750kg/per hour at 6 Bar pressure. Traditional steam injectors under these conditions wouldn’t be able to condense the steam into the product and would burn the sauce.

The lack of burn on contamination also means cleaning times are typically halved and fewer chemicals used.

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Preserve flavour & enhance mouthfeel

Outline findings from a £1million Innovate UK project into understanding Steam Infusion suggest the unique processing conditions can enhance flavours and improve mouthfeel.

The lack of exposure to high-temperature steam prevents burn on contamination preserving natural colours and flavours. It's not uncommon for batches of bechamel sauce cooked with a steam jacket to be rejected because of black specs in the sauce.

A homogenising effect is generated within the unit by varying the flow rate of steam. For sauces like Bechamel sauce, this can improve the mouthfeel by developing a creamier texture. There have been instances where over 20% of butter has been removed from a recipe.

For NPD teams, these effects can be utilised to match existing ranges or to develop healthier products.

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Maintain product quality from concept to launch

Typically the journey from the development chef’s saucepan to the factory one-tonne vessel involves many compromises. The accuracy and consistency of Steam Infusion cooking makes it easier for manufacturers to bridge this gap and maintain initial concepts.

Scaling up bechamel sauce recipes from concept to manufacturing creates various challenges for existing food processing technologies. Usually the length of cooking time is significantly different to that of the chef’s kitchen, leading to over processing and loss of natural, vibrant colours.

Think about the difference between cooking vegetables in a wok compared to a steam jacketed vessel.

The speed of Steam Infusion cooking overcomes these issues. Now your factory sauce’s are closely matched to the original saucepan concept, with fresher brighter ingredients and colours unlike conventionally scaled up sauces.

Get cooking at our test centre

Our test centre is located at the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing, Holbeach. Sitting within academic surroundings, the offsite location is perfect for blue sky thinking and breaking away from the day to day operations.

With our development chefs on hand to facilitate and advise on recipe and process changes, it's amazing what can be accomplished in a single day. Visitors also have access to the university's full suite of analysis equipment including a sensory suite, Mastersizer laser particle size analyser and GC-MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Analysis).

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